Before stepping out on the ice, most goalies will take a few minutes out of their pregame preparation to visualize what they want to do during the game. Heading into Friday’s game, Lawson didn’t have to use much imagination to set the scene for the eventual outcome.
“This is actually the only building I’ve won in as an NHL player and that was in a shootout, too, so I felt pretty comfortable,” admitted the 27-year-old netminder, who registered his only NHL win with the Islanders in a 4-3 shootout victory over the Sens last February. “I had a feeling when Scott tied it up that it might go to a shootout. It was pretty fun to be a part of.”
After watching Carey Price shoulder the load for the first half of the game, Lawson came in midway through the second period and shut the door in his second appearance of the preseason. In addition to the 11 stops he made – including two of three Senators shootout attempts – the Calgary native also chipped in with a little offense on Friday night.
Max Pacioretty may have earned first star honors with his two-goal, nine-shot performance against the Sens, but the speedy power forward knows that at least part of the credit belongs to the man at the other end of the ice.
“His pass was unbelievable,” marveled Pacioretty, who was the recipient of a perfect breakaway feed from the netminder on his second goal of the night. “I’ve never seen a pass like that from a goalie. It was almost too good – I almost put myself offside on that one.
“It was a great heads-up play by him when everyone was changing and I was wide open. I don’t think I’ve ever been that open in my life,” he laughed. “I gave him a little tap on the pads and just said ‘Thanks, I owe you one.’”
Lawson isn’t the only Habs puckstopper getting in on the scoring these days, either. After seeing Price pick up a helper in the opening game against Dallas on Tuesday night, Lawson made the most of his opportunity to catch up to his creasemate in the preseason points race.
“Carey’s a little more natural and quicker at playing pucks than I am, but I’ll work on it,” joked Lawson, who has allowed just two goals in as many preseason games this year. “Mostly, it was just good that we got a win. It’s only the preseason but it’s good to get on the right track. Now we have to keep it going.”
Shauna Denis is a writer for canadiens.com.
The Numbers Game - Sept. 23, 2011
Recovered and ready